Placenta eating moms, mouth-to-mouth feeding moms, diaper free kids, free range kids… are we going too far with parenting?

I’m the type of person who honestly thinks – to each their own.

When my babies were little, I guess you could put me in the category of attachment parenting (although I’m not a fan of labels).  Breastfeeding, co-sleeping, making my own baby food – these practices felt natural to ME.

I think it’s absolutely wonderful that each and every woman does what feels right for her family.  Who am I to judge?

But when I hear about placenta eating moms and moms chewing their own food before giving to their kids, I have to bite my tongue… I pause – now hold on a second!

I can’t help but think – are we taking parenting a little too far?  Is this just a different parenting style or just plain odd?

January Jones of Mad Men, 34, was back to work almost right after she giving birth to her son last September.  The secret to her quick return?

“I have a great doula who makes sure I’m eating well, with vitamins and teas, and with placenta capsulation,” she said.

“Your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins… It’s something I was very hesitant about, but we’re the only mammals who don’t ingest our own placentas.”

Yes, placentophagy, or eating placenta, may sound really gross to most but apparently the practice is not that uncommon.  In parts of the world, it’s quite the norm.

New moms think their placenta-pills provide benefits like giving energy and fighting baby blues.  But scientific research has yet to prove this is true.

Alicia Silverstone (left), January Jones (right)

Then we have Alicia Silverstone who chews food before feeding it – by mouth – to her son who is almost a year old.   In some cultures, direct mouth-to-mouth feeding is linked with the showing of affection, known as kiss feeding.  But her son is now 11 months old… should he be learning how to chew his food all by himself?

Silverstone also put “elimination communication” on the map for me anyway –  toilet training an infant using a “diaper free method”.  I had no idea that some cultures do this –  they carry around their babies diaper free and of course, babies learn at an early age when to use the toilet.

But these practices happen in a different part of the world… it’s almost odd to imagine North American parents using these unique parenting styles here.

Are some taking this alternative parenting style too far?


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. Dianne / Smilenwaven Reply

    Like you say – to each their own – but YECK!!

  2. I think the media spends way too much time criticising parenting styles that are uncommon in North America. All of the ones you mention in your post are things that generations of women in my family have used, well, except for the placenta eating, but other mammals do it, and I think that just because it’s not the norm in our part of the world doesn’t mean we should criticise people who chose to do it. Mothers need more support than that, in all things.

    • Well said. I think the media are having a field day because it’s a Hollywood celebrity who is doing it. They are putting these ‘different’ parenting practices into the limelight and I think many are rolling their eyes because, well, they are celebrities. As I said in my post, who am I to judge. But it is interesting to discuss, analyze and even learn about what other cultures do. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I think that it is because these celebrities are doing it is what makes it odd! With my son (who is now 4), I did the diaper free thing at home, because I worked from home until he was 2. It was easy as far as being able to potty train him early because they usually have a schedule, even for pee-peeing and pooping, so you go right before and they learn quickly. My ex-grandmother-in-law always tells me, “They were born little not stupid.” And I was the weird one of my friends who NEVER EVER used baby talk around my son, which is why today (i think) he can read and can carry on a conversation with most adults who will take the time to be patient when he can’t find the right word. Just because a celebrity is doing it now, doesn’t mean moms have not been doing it here in North America for a long time before.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.